Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The DePue Brothers Release Holiday Album, When It's Christmas Time

When the DePue Brothers were growing up in Bowling Green, Ohio, their house was always filled with music, especially during the holiday season.  Each year, their dad, Dr. Wallace DePue, Sr., who was music professor at Bowling Green University, would write a new Christmas carol as his holiday gift.  One, written in 1990, is called "When It's Christmas Time" and is the title of their new CD being released for the 2013 Christmas season.  The brothers -- Wallace Jr., Alex, Jason and Zach -- who are all classically trained violinists and have performed with the most prestigious musical organizations including The Philadelphia Orchestra, are proud to dedicate their CD to their dad.  Continuing their dad's tradition of sharing holiday music with family and friends, the DePue Brothers Band has put their own signature on their dad's carol with Alex's new arrangement and by enriching these holiday classic carols with adistinctive bluegrass, jazz, and classical groove.

This highly acclaimed string ensemble performs around the country playing an eclectic mix of musical genres based on their classical training but bringing in bluegrass, funk, jazz, rock and more. The band include Wallace, Alex, Jason and Zach DePue with percussionist Don Liuzzi, guitarist Mark Cosgrove, bassist Kevin MacConnell and Mike Munford, who was recently named International Bluegrass Association's the 2013 Banjo musician of the year. The brothers' individual musical endeavors continue -- Zach with The Indianapolis Symphony as concertmaster, and with Time for Three; Jason with The Philadelphia Orchestra; Alex with his solo endeavors and with DePue/DeHoyos; and Wallace with his company, Concert Instruments.com and with The Philly POPS. 

The album is a mix of standard arrangements from the brothers' youth includingJesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, and the heavenlyAve Maria with new arrangements by Alex DePue of Good King Wencelas, Winter Wonderland and the DePue original song, The Fat Man.  One of the album highlights is Jason DePue's brilliantarrangement of the pop classic Sleigh Ride with his unique musical gestures. The CD includes the many contributions of equally talented additional band members including Don Liuzzi's exotic Pat-a-Pan and the serene O Holy Night, Kevin MacConnell's elegant jazz arrangement of Christmas Song richly sung by Wallace Depue andMike Munford's exquisite Medley of Carols for banjo.

No matter where they may be performing, the brothers reunite each Christmas and each year their dad writes another carol. These carols were musical expressions of love to his four sons and enduring gift cards to the DePue's family and friends with personal notes and updates from each growing child. In addition, as a gift to their community, they would perform in their hometown church and, now, they return to the church this Christmas with an additional gift - their holiday music recorded.  "When It's Christmas Time" is a celebration of what incredible musical range and sheer musicianship they bring to their holiday repertoire as it brings together the very best of what these virtuoso musicians have to offer. 

Band member/manager Don Liuzzi, percussionist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, said recently, "When the DePue Brothers get together to play, they play to the height of their abilities. They play with utter abandon and joy. They play off one another and perhaps because they are brothers, they express with music far more than can be spoken with words. There is no musical group in the world like the DePue Brothers." 

Liuzzi credits each band member for his unique contribution to the recording and points out that Jason has a creative role in the album that cannot be overstated. He explains further, "Jason returned to the studio after the recordings were almost finished to add new lines of inspiration on the violin and mandolin." Something Liuzzi describes as "incredible gems!"


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